Saturday, 30 March 2013

More off-set steps...

...  you could get a bit cheesed off really.... 
Let's start off with the good news... A recent birthday resulted in a number of gift vouchers from Amazon - imagine my surprise then when I found you can buy both Selden and Barton blocks from them (I was stunned - is there anything Amazon don't sell??)...
 
Following a brief exchange of emails to ensure I got the right "matched pair" my main sheet problem is now largely resolved... for £80 I got a pair of Selden blocks from Ratseys [clicky] the lower block is the one to the left, with a matching double block at the top, this will give 4:1 - which should be plenty... all I need to do now is buy the line... 10mm braid on braid,but I need to figure out the length (it'll be long!)... either way that's one of the "necessaries" I can almost sign off..

More good news (I'm feeling better already ); I can also sign off one of the second group items as I got lucky on eBay with the purchase of a boom claw (actually I got a pair for less than the cost of a single new one, and have since already sold the other one to re-coup costs!) - so good news - I'll rig it later - I'll need to bodge a kicker, but that's OK, small steps and all that..

Now the bad news - having been delighted at the quality of the foresail, but amazed that someone wouldn't put a UV strip on it, I got the now completed sail from the sail-makers and hot footed it down to the boat to fit it...

Buggery... but at least the old name has now been scraped
off ready for a replacement at some point in time
...not good...  it's tiny - I'd say a no. 2 at best...  if I rig it as it should be with the tack at the roller drum, the head of the sail is so low that I can't use the roller reefing (the halyard wraps immediately). If I rig it with the head high enough to stop halyard wrap the tack of the sail is a yard and a half above the drum and it looks ridiculous (see picture).... for the time being I'll rig it as it should be and roll it by hand when I need to...  them's the breaks...

Elsewhere, the boat got a good clean, and I replaced the starboard side mushroom vent which was in a hideous condition - the port side one is as bad and will be done later. All I need to do to finish the job is replace the temporary nuts and bolts with stainless ones and squirt a bit of sealant underneath before tightening down - that's a job for tomorrow or the day after.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

One step forward, one step back...

....well that's what it feels like.... 

As is usually the way when re-commissioning a boat, there are a number of things I need to do, a number of things I'd like to do, and a number of things that'll just have to wait for the time being....

In the first group are those things I documented in the last post ("last post"?? freudian slip?? ), some progress has been made....
I can only dream!
  1. Following an order to eBay dealer Bosuns Locker Chandlery (recommended by the way - fast delivery, good communications, and cheap) I got delivery of 3 hanks of 6mm line to replace the topping lift, main halyard, and jib halyard...   with the order of some thimbles and shackles from the local chandlery I replaced all the hideous running rigging over the weekend (one step forward)....
  2. I found out that the boat had no security (one step back) so I fitted her with a new locking mechanism and took out the old lock (which had no key and looked like it was painted shut..) - step forward....?
  3. An examination of the jib/genoa  resulted in two things - one, delight at the quality and condition (nice sail, as new condition, and made by Arun, the same loft I got Pap's new jib from), but two, mild irritation that someone would order such a sail for a roller furler and not have a UV strip fitted - what were they on??!  Either way, sail went to Arun for aforesaid UV strip and I picked it up this morning  (albeit after handing over £80!)
  4. I need a main-sheet - the one that came with the boat is a single line, with a snap shackle on the end - what???!   I have a source and may get a result in the next few days...I do hope so, as main-sheet blocks are eye watering'ly expensive... the example in the picccie right is over £100 without the rope!
                                                                                
In the second group:
  1. I emptied the contents of my garage and loft into the boat (contents of Papillon bought home at the end of last season) - neither a step forward or backward, but the garage has more room...
  2. The GRP boom claw on the boat is beyond the pale and needs replacing with a slightly newer aluminium version (left) - again, I have a source and may get a result in the next few days...
  3. Boom cover - if I don't get one, the main (which is disreputable but usable) will disintegrate before I can get a new one made... a new one is another £60-£70 quid... the alternative is to use a bit of tarpaulin and buy the proper one later....
  4. Cleats/fairleads... I could do with a few more.....
 The third group are documented on the jobs page and I won't enumerate them here least I get depressed...

I was due to launch this Thursday (28th) but I have decided to postpone - we are experiencing extremely unseasonal weather in the UK at the moment - it was trying to snow as I cycled to work this morning, and the temperature hasn't hit double digits centigrade in about two weeks...  the thought of launching when it's this cold didn't fill me with any huge sense of excitement so another fortnight or so ashore is not a burden..... my new launch date is April 12th.

More anon....

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Launch day approaches... jobs, jobs, jobs...

Week today!!! 

She's largely ready to go, the main job at this time of year usually being anti-fouling but that's already been done by the previous owner (thanks!)

There's a few things I'd like to do, though, if only to improve my sailing experience for this year...

Curtains....

Not just interior soft furnishings, but also to protect the contents of the cabin from prying eyes - so I look on them as a security measure...

Sparrow's cabin is currently a blank shell - other than the bulkhead, there are no other attachment points for curtain wires etc, I'm thinking at the moment that I’ll use the aforesaid bulkhead, and then epoxy (or use “no more nails”) some vertical wood battens at the other end of each window to support the curtain wires... not dreadfully urgent but something to investigate and measure....

Outboard well...

I need to have another look, but I think the outboard well on Sparrow is “bare” and unadorned – I’m thinking I may need to attach some wood on either, or one, side of the lip to protect the GRP from the screws on the outboard...

Other than that:
  • Launch day is the 28th & a lift in is booked.. 
  • Insurance is arranged (no survey required) - I've gone with CraftInsure again, based purely on my previous experiences with them, that have been nothing but excellent..
  • Harbour dues are paid... 
  • Outboard is in for service... should be ready early next week....
Jobs for this weekend (in some kind of order of importance)
  1. Outboard well bracket/protection?
  2. Fit a more chunky cleat on the foredeck, if required
  3. She's missing a fair-lead on the bow, on the starboard side - replace....
  4. Drill the bow roller to take a locking pin (to keep the rope or chain in the roller) - check and see if I can find a replacement roller....
  5. Replacement halyards are on the way (for topping lift, main and genoa) current ones are in a poor state (sound, but very old, and very green).... 
  6. Bend on the jib, attach the boom and bend on the main
  7. Is the roller furling line long enough?
  8. About to order a boom/sail cover off eBay and I’ll fit it if it arrives in time (no time to make one though I toyed with the idea, but at £60 I wonder if it’s cheaper than I can make it anyway!) 
  9. Measure up for curtains... I'm hoping Ma-In-Law will make them for me..
  10. Last but not least – remove old name and ..
  11. ...give her a damn good power wash 
  I feel sure there’ll be a beer at the Anchor Bleu at some time in the middle of that lot as well... 

Monday, 18 March 2013

A new blog for a new boat...

Welcome to the new boat... a bilge keel Hurley 20 of venerable age, and unsurpassed loveliness....!



Was known as Tjanna, but I shall (for the first time) be re-naming her....  can't say I'd have done it from choice, but the name doesn't signify anything specific (from what I can tell it's just a slightly unusual girls name), and I don't fancy having to spell it out every time I talk to a marina, or Heaven forbid, the Coast Guard..!

She'll be known as Sparrow - no specific reason other than the wing/flying analogy, they're also small, feisty, it's the same name as Bolitho's first command [clicky] which was always my favourite of the series....  and it's also Captain Jack's surname (and they wouldn't let me call her Black Pearl)... and I like it....


The interior is just superb - lovely condition..  all the windows have been recently replaced, the cabin sole is immaculate - a testament to her previous owners skill with wood and varnish....


This was taken last year I think - she's currently looking even better with the benefit of a fresh coat of anti-foul - so I don't even have to do that this year....


Very clean....  there's space for a toilet under the square cushion in the fore cabin - none present at the moment which suits me just fine - no holes in the hull, thanks...  I suspect a camping toilet will feature at some point....



Galley position (above) - she comes with a camping gas cooker....


Cushions are original (I think) but in excellent condition - she's freshly painted throughout...  note - no electrics at all...


Can just see a tiller pilot there...  eventually!


Hand rails are all freshly fixed with screws and penny washers (as are windows/fore hatch hinges etc) - lovely job..


The top of that push-pit will be ideal for fitting a solar panel at some point in the future...!


Roller furling jib (above) is from a Benetau (I believe)...

Currently aiming at an Easter launch date - but there's a list of things I need to do before she goes in - some more urgent than others...  I'll cover those in future posts....